Whatever you think of Megaupload, Kim Dotcom, and the way the site was being used for less-than-legal means, you should spare a thought for those who were using Megaupload completely legitimately. As they have lost out by the site’s takedown in a big way.
Now, there is a movement swilling up to formally fight how the FBI took down Megaupload without giving anyone a chance to grab their files beforehand. According to TorrentFreak, Pirate Party organizations around the world are busy making plans to sue the feds for the “huge personal, economic and image damages to a vast number of people.”
It seems patently obvious to me that the feds overplayed their hand here. Sure, there was a lot of piracy occurring on Megaupload. Everybody knows that, and no one, not even Kim Dotcom and his cohorts, are denying it. Their argument is that they were doing everything by the book in terms of taking down copyrighted content if and when asked.
However, there were also a lot of legitimate files being stored and shared on Megaupload. People had work documents, collaborative projects, and personal files uploaded to the site for safe keeping. And now they can no longer access those files because the whole site has been taken offline, probably forever.
Maybe these people were a little too trusting in storing stuff on Megaupload, especially if they didn’t also store it elsewhere. But that doesn’t alter the fact that they have lost out through no fault of their own and after doing absolutely nothing wrong. Which sounds to me like a legitimate framework for a class-action lawsuit of some kind.
The legal issues surrounding the Megaupload case are very complex, and the result of the case being brought against those operating the site will be an important one. That’s assuming the U.S. manage to extradite Dotcom from New Zealand in the first place. In the meantime, law-abiding citizens are revolting against the dubious actions that were undertaken.